On April 10, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted a handful of music luminaries Kiss, Yusuf Islam (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens), Hall & Oates, Linda Rondstadt, Peter Gabriel, The E Street Band but those were all prelude to the spectacle of inducting Nirvana without lead singer Kurt Cobain. And it was a spectacle: Joan Jett, St. Vincent, Kim Gordon and Lorde joined the band to perform some of Nirvana's biggest hits.
Reuniting without an iconic frontman of a band is a losing proposition any way you slice it: either you don't play and everyone dreams about what amazing collaborations could have been, or you take a chance and try to bring the best hired guns possible and see what comes out, but whatever it is, it's not the real thing. Suffice it to say, the Nirvana induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was firmly planted in the latter option's camp.
After a fitting official intro from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, remaining members of the band Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Pat Smear accepted their induction alongside kind words and support from Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain, and Cobain's mother, Wendy.
Grohl, Novoselic and Smear later took to the stage for the highly anticipated performance. Joan Jett joined them first to perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit," followed by St. Vincent's Annie Clark doing "Lithium." Kim Gordon joined for "Aneurysm" and by the end, Lorde crowded in with everyone for a moody rendition of "All Apologies."
You can quibble and many have already about the merit of the artists who got to take the stage, but all of the guests delivered solid performances. The real question is whether or not the reunion and this particular venue really fits the celebratory chord that everyone seems to want to strike with Nirvana's recent anniversaries.
The bright spot in all of this is that a couple hundred lucky people got an all-star treatment without the cameras and glamor. Grohl and Novoselic retreated to Brooklyn's Saint Vitus venue, performing 16 songs with guests below.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit," feat. Joan Jett
"Breed," feat. Joan Jett
"In Bloom," feat. Joan Jett
"Territorial Pissings," feat. Joan Jett
"Drain You," feat. J. Mascis
"Penny Royal Tea," feat. J. Mascis
"School," feat. J. Mascis
"Lithium," feat. St. Vincent
"About A Girl," feat. St. Vincent
"Heart Shaped Box," feat. St. Vincent
"Serve the Servants," feat. John McCauley (from Deer Tick)
"Scentless Apprentice," feat. John McCauley
"Tourette's," feat. John McCauley
"Aneurysm," feat. Kim Gordon
"Negative Creep," feat. Kim Gordon
"Moist Vagina," feat. Kim Gordon
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana with Joan Jett
Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana with St. Vincent
Should Nirvana have reunited with guests? What would you have done to go the after show at St. Vitus? Let us know in the comments below.
- Dave Grohl And Krist Novoselic Share Memories, Unreleased Tracks From 'In Utero' Nirvana's In Utero celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The band's two surviving members -- Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic -- recall their time recording what would be the band's last album.
- Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic chats with The Morning Show Krist Novoselic may be best known as the bass player for Nirvana, but he has spent recent years as a hobby farmer in Wahkiakum County, Washington and as a political reform activist.
- Dave Grohl's SXSW 2013 keynote Dave Grohl has become the unofficial Mayor of Rock 'n' Roll: a gregarious ambassador who wins armloads of Grammys and even directs a music documentary.
- Theft of the Dial: St. Vincent Ahead of her fantastic performance at the State Theatre on April 3, St. Vincent came by The Current studios to record a Theft of the Dial with host Mark Wheat.
- Countdown: Women Who Rock Find out which women rock your musical world in our Women Who Rock countdown.
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